April 9, 2014 |
What does it take to be a writer: A room of one's own? A weakness for words? To celebrate the Festival of Books, we asked five celebrated authors to recall a turning point in their evolution as writers. First up is Susan Straight, recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes' 2013 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. I wrote the stories in my first book by hand, in these places: at the counter of the Mobil station where I worked in 1979, between customers, eating beef jerky and stale cashews out of the nut mix no one ever bought from the cloudy glass compartments beneath my notebook; sitting on a huge rock at the beach in Rosarito, Mexico, in 1983 after my husband fell asleep in the tiny hotel where we spent our two-night honeymoon, writing in my notebook; sitting at a card table in married student housing in 1984 in Amherst with the small blue Smith-Corona my mother had given me for high school graduation; in a pale green 1980-something Fiat with brakes that went out all the time, upon which occasion my husband would have me sit in the driver's seat and pump the brakes while he was underneath the car in the gravel driveway of our house back in Riverside in 1988, and I held a notebook and pen, writing.
April 4, 2014 |
Lars von Trier is in many ways the central casting version of an international art house filmmaker. Or maybe a "Saturday Night Live" parody played straight. Often giving himself the role of the provocateur, Von Trier makes films that dare to examine the trickier corners of the human condition - grief, love, lust and their intersections - and there is without question something bold in his desire and ability for confrontation. Yet as he has became known to many people for his news conference pranksterism instead of his actual filmmaking, it has seemed over the last few years that he has gone a bit off the rails, perhaps losing himself to his own self-created persona as the most terrible of enfants terribles . It had become something of a spectator sport for Von Trier to face off against an often hostile, baiting international press corps with each new film and bait them right back.
April 3, 2014 |
The notebook in which UCLA wide receiver Devin Lucien jots his thoughts carried a different message recently. "I always write notes to myself, I have a huge notebook," Lucien said. "The note for spring was, 'Prove everything to yourself; don't worry about proving anything to anyone else.'" This is a new Lucien, who will be a junior this fall. The yakking, something that was as much his game as his speed and sure hands, has stopped. There seems a more focused purpose to his demeanor.
March 29, 2014 |
OSO , Wash. -- To mark a statewide moment of silence exactly a week after a massive mudslide slammed this rural town, about 100 firefighters and volunteers in the search for victims filed out of the fire station Saturday and stood before a U.S. flag at half staff. Among the volunteers with heads bowed was Bret Cunningham, 47, of nearby Camano Island. He said he thought of the town's families at that moment, those he has worked beside at the scene they have come to call "the pile.
March 6, 2014 |
The subject of "Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide of Silence" is a Trappist monk and a prolific author who's considered a transformative figure in contemporary Christianity. In the 1970s, Keating became a key figure in the revival of contemplative prayer, reshaping an ancient monastic tradition for modern-day seekers. Filmmakers Elena Mannes and Peter C. Jones are attentive to the beauty and discipline of meditative devotion, and their portrait will be of special interest to followers for its intimate conversations with the monk, who turned 91 on March 7. Jones, Keating's nephew, has a background in art photography, evident in the creative use of composite stills.
January 31, 2014
Re "Puzzling silence after death," Column, Jan. 28 My first thought after reading Sandy Banks' column on the friends of Kim Pham - who witnessed the horrendous assault that killed the young woman - refusing to talk to police was that it seems they have something to hide. I don't get it. Silence is definitely not golden here. Marie Pollara Lévesque Lake Balboa ALSO: Letters: How'd they get their guns? Letters: How safe is your credit card?